Blog: All Things Nortec

Sheehy Auto Stores: Keeping the Family Connected with Mitel


In 1965, Sheehy Ford began as a small, suburban, family-owned car dealership, and just 10 years later, had become the largest Ford dealership in the country.  Today, Sheehy Auto Stores is still primarily family-owned and is one the largest automobile retailers in the mid-Atlantic, with franchises including Ford, Nissan, Honda, Lincoln, Subaru, Lexus, Infiniti, Volkswagen and Hyundai.

The Challenge

Sheehy Auto Stores has been growing ever since its founding.  Yet throughout this growth trajectory, Sheehy’s commitment to customer satisfaction, retention, and community involvement has never wavered, earning the company recognition as a leader in customer service.

As the company has continued to grow, customer service has always been at the center of the company’s focus.  Bringing the newly acquired dealerships into Sheehy’s communications system was critical to ensuring continuity of operations and maintaining the level of service for which Sheehy has built its reputation.

Sheehy needed a unified communications system that would be easy to deploy as new dealerships were added to the Sheehy Auto Stores family.  The new system also needed to be easy-to-use, feature-rich, and scalable – as well as fit into Sheehy’s budget.

While the company’s in-house IT department had been diligently keeping the company’s infrastructure updated, Sheehy had relied on Nortec for years as a trusted consultant on its overall architecture, and to occasionally assist with deployments and other projects.

Nortec recommended the Mitel Unified Communications System as a perfect fit for Sheehy Automotive because of the TCO, ease of use, robust feature set, and price point.   “The VoIP system had to be scalable and easy to manage due to Sheehy’s rapid growth trajectory,” says Deb Wiker, Director Strategic Accounts with Nortec.  “Mitel was and continues to be an ideal fit for Sheehy since it included all of the normal telephony, mobility, but also the advanced Call Center features they needed to support not only their customers but also their sales teams. The advanced reporting capabilities has enabled Sheehy management to enhance their user’s productivity and ultimately the service to their customers.  “Sheehy enjoys a well-earned reputation and built upon their industry recognized reputation of providing unbeatable superior service to their customers along with a price that can’t be beat”, according to Deb Wiker.

However, due to internal staffing changes within its IT department, Sheehy turned to Nortec to not only help grow their Mitel unified communications system, but to support and maintain it as well – all while the company continues to acquire new dealerships.  Nortec responded quickly to this request by Sheehy. The transition to additional Nortec Managed services has been seamless.

The Solution

Nortec deployed the Mitel system to all of the current dealerships as well as stores in the process of coming online form either organic or acquisition growth.  Through Nortec’s Mitel Managed Service offering, Sheehy receives ongoing support whenever they need it during business hours, and after hours if needed.  “Every time we contact  the  Nortec help desk, they take care of business.  The support is excellent,” says John Vitullo, Director of IT at Sheehy.

In fact, during the recent  4th of July weekend, Sheehy experienced a problem with its telecommunications carrier and ISP channels, resulting in a phone outage.  This particular holiday weekend is one of the biggest sales opportunities for Sheehy, and the company was running a huge promotion.

When one of the dealership’s phones went down, Vitullo immediately called Nortec for assistance. Nortec responded and was able to get the system back online in an hour and half from initial call to resolution during the holiday weekend.  “They go above and beyond – it’s not just the base support – there’s been more than one time that we’ve been on the phone for an hour or so to resolve an issue. That’s above and beyond of what you typically get,” said Vitullo.

The Benefits

“We’re growing by leaps and bounds – and then some,” says Vitullo.  “So having the support, the level of operation and dedication that Nortec has to get the job fixed is critical.”

“I can’t even begin to talk about the different features that have paid off.  Dialing stores just by extension – several hundred dealerships – no long distance calling fees, constantly talking to all the sites – the system is really enhancing our ability to keep all of the stores connected,” said Vitullo.

Sheehy now has the peace of mind and stability it needs to maintain its level of customer service while continuing to grow its business.

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